TJ Starks scored 18 points and had eight assists as Texas A&M outlasted Oregon State 67-64 on Saturday at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore., to win its third straight game.
The Aggies (4-4) led by six points with 3:44 to play, matching a game-high margin, until a layup by Savion Flagg with 3:36 remaining pushed the advantage to 65-57. Stephen Thompson Jr.’s layup off an offensive rebound with 34.6 to play pulled the Beavers to within 65-62.
A free throw by the Aggies’ Wendell Mitchell with 28 seconds left was matched by one from Oregon State’s Alfred Hollins 11 seconds later that kept it a one-possession game.
Tres Tinkle then made hit one of two from the charity stripe with 4 seconds left, and Starks, after a foul, pushed the lead back to three points, at 67-64, with a free throw of his own. Thompson Jr.’s wild 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark, allowing Texas A&M to escape with the win.
Brandon Mahan, Mitchell, and John Walker III each had 10 points for the Aggies, who outshot Oregon State 42.6 percent to 35 percent and held the Beavers to 29 percent shooting from the floor in the second half.
Ethan Thompson scored 20 points and Tinkle added 17 for Oregon State (6-3), which lost its second straight. All three of the Beavers’ losses this year are by six points or less.
Thompson scored seven of the Beavers’ first nine points over the first eight and a half minutes as he game went back and forth with six ties and four lead changes through the first 20 minutes. Oregon State led by as many as four points in the early going but the Aggies roared back to take a 22-16 advantage on a 3-pointer by Mitchell with 7:56 to play in the half.
Oregon State leapfrogged back in front on a free throw by Hollins with 3:22 to play in the first but Texas A&M closed the half with a 7-3 run to garner a 33-30 advantage at intermission.
Tinkle and Thompson paced the Beavers with 10 points each at the half while Texas A&M got eight points from Mahan that included a pair of 3-pointers.
Oregon State has a quick turnaround, as it hosts Pepperdine on Monday. The Aggies return home to battle Valparaiso on Wednesday.
—Field Level Media